Marine Accident Report

Allision of the Cargo Vessel M/V Delta Mariner with Eggner's Ferry Bridge, Tennessee River

Near Aurora, Kentucky
January 26, 2012

NTSB Number: MAR-13-02
Adopted: May 14, 2013

Accident Summary

The M/V Delta Mariner, a cargo vessel carrying rocket components from the manufacturer in Decatur, Alabama, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, allided with Eggner's Ferry Bridge on the Tennessee River on the night of January 26, 2012, near Aurora, Kentucky. As the vessel approached the bridge, the bridge team maneuvered the Delta Mariner away from the main navigation span and toward a span providing insufficient clearance for the vessel.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause of the allision of the M/V Delta Mariner with Eggner's Ferry Bridge was the bridge team's exclusive reliance on the contract pilot's incorrect navigational direction as the vessel approached the bridge and their failure to use all available navigation tools to verify the safety of the vessel';s course. Contributing to the accident was Foss Maritime Company's failure to exercise effective safety oversight of the Delta Mariner's operations and the failure of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to effectively maintain bridge navigation lighting.